Sublight Games is pleased to announce that a full-cast Stardust audiobook is in production, starring a diverse and queer-first ensemble. We are excited about this new step into indie transmedia storytelling that will leverage the nuances of different narrative avenues to expand upon the richness of the Stardust universe.
Few queer voices exist in modern entertainment, and trans voices are scarcer still. Representation matters, and it has been my own imperative from the beginning as Narrative Producer that Ashlee's story not be simply understood, but experienced. That's why the Stardust novel is written in first-person, and it is why I personally went to great lengths to find the right voices for this project. The crew of Windsong are a found family—a trope that queer people will be all too familiar with—and they're in it for the long haul. It's my hope that you'll be following the chronicles of their exploits for some time to come, beyond the conclusion of the novel itself.
What is a full-cast audiobook and why make one?
Simply put, a full-cast audiobook straddles the line between a narrated audiobook and a radio play. Each character is given their own unique voice played by a professional actor, and this adds to the depth of the listening experience. It still 'reads' like a book, but can be easier to follow because the listener easily discerns the different speaking roles. We've gone this route because we want to elevate the Stardust novel without re-writing it from scratch into new formats, and because it is a more cost-effective option than an audiodrama or radio play.
Examples of novels with full-cast audiobooks you may have heard of include Dune, His Dark Materials, and Good Omens.
When can we expect it?
The audiobook will be released in acts according to traditional narrative structure.
- Act 1 (Chapters 1-6) will be released first, sometime early in 2024.
- Act 2 (Chapters 7-15) is slated for summer 2024.
- Act 3 will drop simultaneously with the conclusion of the novel in Q4 2024.
This is a tentative schedule that is subject to change. Stardust is a crowdfunded project, and your financial support really does impact development and production time!
Become a Voidfarer to listen to these releases the moment they are ready. The separate acts will also be collected together and made available as one volume offered for purchase through major audiobook retailers late next year.
Are there any other plans for storytelling in The Bary?
Upon completion of the novel, we expect the addition of short stories and anthologies from all over The Bary. Several preliminary scripts have been drafted to this end. Some of these shorts may get a complete audiodrama treatment, with full foley, scores, and mastered audio. They would be exclusive to our Voidfarers.
As stated previously, our long-term goal is to bring a full tabletop RPG to the Stardust universe, with the wargame as its in-flight combat system. The rulebook would contain much more story-driven content and thorough guides for embedding your own characters into the world. But all these projects are funding and time-constrained.
Will there be any slowdown in the game's production?
No. At most, the impact will be miniscule. 0.9 is still slated for this year.
As our game continues steady development toward a 1.0 release through our store, you can expect more rich media content like this supporting our long-term worldbuilding efforts. At its core, Stardust is a wargame, but no war is without a varied set of perspectives. We have set the universe rolling, but our aspiration is to become but janitors of this universe. Ultimately, it is your adventures, tribulations, and triumphs that will determine the outcome of the interstellar gold rush.
The stars are destiny. Fly safe out there, pilots.
P.S. Our Voidfarers can download the above announcement key art in glorious 4K by visiting their feed on the VSC.